I preached yesterday that there were two reasons I saw for why churches were not helping members of their congregation. One was because the church was too proud/stingy/etc. to help. That happens in some cases, but I don’t think that it happens as often as the second case: people are too proud to ask for help. This is not Biblical:
Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” Now out of the ground the Lord God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. – Genesis 2:18-22, ESV
The first thing to note is that it is God who identified Adam couldn’t do it alone. God also noted that the rest of creation couldn’t completely take care of Adam’s needs. As a result, God took the time to create woman, a person, to help Adam. Why did I quote this particular passage? Simply because it’s the first of many where God shows us that going it alone is the wrong answer. It also reminds us that sometimes we’re going to need help from other people. Our churches are suffering because we smile and say we are okay when we are not. And when our churches suffer, they are unable to do the job appointed to them by Christ. That’s means they are unable to carry out properly the making of disciples, meeting the needs of the people around them, providing them hope, and showing them that there is a loving and caring God in the Lord Jesus. When we hold on to our pride and refuse to ask for help, we don’t just damage ourselves, we end up doing damage to folks around us, even folks we don’t even know. This is because we’re being dishonest due to our pride.
There are very reasons we don’t want to ask for help. We don’t want to appear weak. We don’t want to appear less than we believe ourselves to be. We don’t want to be a burden. We probably don’t have it as bad as someone else. If we’re worried about appearances, we are already wrong. We are trying to live a lie. And if we don’t want to be a burden, what we fail to understand is when we don’t get the help we need, we do become a burden, but usually a far greater one. While not all problems which are left alone get worse, enough do that we’d be better off attacking each problem with the best we’ve got, and that means getting help when we need it. And as to the idea that someone might need help more than us, that’s a very real possibility. However, if folks aren’t being honest, we’ll never know. Also, that’s why there are multiple people within a congregation: so we can share our burdens. A few folks might pick up the more needy person’s issue leaving others to help you. However, if you don’t speak up, no one will know.
Let’s stop the deceit for the sake of appearance. Let’s be honest with one another. Let’s share our burdens and seek to meet them together. This is the way God wants it to be whether we’re talking a family or a church body. The reminder that we need helps starts from our very first appearance in Scripture and goes on to the very end in Revelation. It’s a message that’s impossible to miss but too often we ignore. Let us not ignore it any more. Let us instead be willing to be transparent, to ask for help, and to provide help as we can.